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Brother's moving funeral tribute to Alan Drennan who died on Ibiza

By Chris McCullough

Published 03/08/2015

Alan Drennan’s girlfriend at the funeral in Gilnahirk, east Belfast
Alan Drennan’s girlfriend at the funeral in Gilnahirk, east Belfast
Mourners at the funeral in Gilnahirk, east Belfast
Alan Drennan’s father Alan sr at the funeral in Gilnahirk, east Belfast
Mourners at the funeral in Gilnahirk, east Belfast
Alan Drennan

Mourners have heard how the brother of a young man from Northern Ireland who died in Ibiza almost two weeks ago will keep him "in my heart forever and a day".

Hundreds attended the funeral for Alan Drennan from Newtownabbey on Saturday at St Dorothea's Parish Church in Gilnahirk, east Belfast.

There was laughter as well as tears, as moving tributes were paid to the 21-year-old man from family and friends including his dad, Alan snr, his mum Verona, and brothers Karl and Lee.

Apprentice mechanic and doorman Alan was found dead in his hotel room on July 19, less than 24 hours after arriving on Ibiza for a holiday with 10 of his friends.

Some of them have claimed Alan suffered head injuries after being hit by police at the island's airport earlier this month.

A post-mortem by Spanish authorities found no visible signs of violence on Alan's body and suggested he died of multiple organ failure.

His body was finally brought back to Dublin on Tuesday where Irish State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy carried out a fresh autopsy.

It confirmed some injuries to his head and face.

Alan's funeral service - conducted by Rev Nigel Kirkpatrick and Rev Johnny McLoughlin - celebrated his life, with many friends and family paying tribute.

Alan's brother Lee wrote an emotional farewell to his little brother which was delivered by Rev Nigel Kirkpatrick in church.

He said: "One of the hardest things in life is losing a loved one, especially when they have been there throughout your whole life. I recently heard a speech that summed up my brother's legacy perfectly to me.

"Every man's heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalised.

"He always kept his weekend life and work life separate, he always said to me, 'enjoy your weekend because when you've worked so hard, you deserve it'. This was Alan's life in a nutshell.

"I love you Alan and I will keep you in my heart forever and a day. So proud of you. Until we meet again, goodnight but never goodbye wee bro."

In his funeral address, the Rev Kirkpatrick said: "It is hard to imagine that just two weeks ago today, Alan was getting ready to set off on holiday with his friends and here we are today in the same church where he was baptised, saying our farewells and wondering about the nature of it all.

"He had done so much and been through a fair bit in this life, but he still had much more to do. He had plans and ambitions; he had energy and vitality and a great love for life.

"But just as a little pond in the woods reflects some of the glory of the sky and brings down to earth a little bit of heaven for all to see, so a life full of love brings down to earth a little bit of heaven for all to see."

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